Lorazepam Brand names of lorazepam Things you need to tell your physician before taking lorazepam Usage How to use lorazepam How lorazepam works Side effects Possible interactions Discontinuation Storage instructions Comments


Brand names of lorazepam

  • Alzapam
  • Apo-Lorazepam
  • Ativan
  • Loraz
  • Lorazepam Intensol
  • Novo-Lorazem
  • Novo-Lorazepam
  • Nu-Loraz
  • Riva-Lorazepam

Lorazepam belongs to the class of drugs known as benzodiazepines and is mainly used to treat anxiety and related problems. Some of the drugs in the benzodiazepine family include alprazolam (Xanax), diazepam (Valium), flurazepam (Dalmane), and clonazepam (Klonopin). It is understood that unwarranted activities of the nerves within the brain may possibly result in anxiety as well as additional psychological problems. The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the sale and use of this medication in March 1999.

It has been found that a neurotransmitter - a chemical used by the nerves to communicate with one another - known as gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) helps to lessen the activity of the nerves within the brain. Lorazepam as well as all other drugs belonging to the benzodiazepine family work by augmenting the actions of GABA within the brain. Compared to other benzodiazepines, lorazepam is eradicated faster from the blood stream and this lowers the chances of the intensity of this medication in the blood attaining high levels and becoming toxic. In addition, lorazepam also has lesser interactions with other drugs compared to nearly all other benzodiazepines.

Things you need to tell your physician before taking lorazepam

Prior to stating treatment with lorazepam, it is essential to tell your physician and pharmacist whether you have allergic reaction to lorazepam, any of the ingredients in the tablet or concentrate form of the medication or any other drug belonging to the benzodiazepine family, including alprazolam (Xanax), diazepam (Valium), chlordiazepoxide (Librax, Librium), prazepam (Centrax), oxazepam (Serax), estazolam (ProSom), temazepam (Restoril) or any other drug. If you are not sure about the ingredients of lorazepam, ask your pharmacist to provide you with a list of the same.

Before taking lorazepam, tell your physician regarding all the prescription and over-the-counter drugs, herbal medications, dietary supplements and vitamins you are already taking or intend to take. At the same time, it is important that you consult your physician regarding the benefits and hazards of taking lorazepam provided you are 65 years old or above. In effect, elderly people ought to take smaller dosages of lorazepam, as taking this medication in higher doses may not prove to be effectual and also result in severe side effects.

You also need to tell your physician regarding your medical conditions and entire medical history before you start taking lorazepam, especially if you have suffered from or are suffering from seizures, glaucoma, any ailment related to the heart, lung or the liver. Women intending to use lorazepam should tell their physician if they are pregnant or planning to be pregnant or are breast-feeding. In case any woman becomes pregnant while undergoing treatment with lorazepam, she should right away call her physician for advice on what needs to be done next.

In the event of you having to undergo any surgery, counting dental surgery, you ought to tell your surgeon or dentist that you are taking lorazepam. People taking this medication should be aware that lorazepam may result in a drowsy feeling. Therefore, you should never undertake any task that involves clear vision and alertness, such as driving or operating any machinery, till you are sure about the action of the medication on you.

People undergoing treatment with lorazepam and also consuming alcoholic beverages should consult their physician regarding using alcohol without having to face any problem. It may be noted that alcohol is likely to worsen the side effects of lorazepam.


The prescription drug lorazepam belongs to the class of medication known as benzodiazepines and it is mainly used to treat anxiety disorders. This medication is also available in injection form and it is always administered in a hospital to cure a kind of seizure disorder, also known as status epilepticus. In addition, the injection form of lorazepam is also administered to patients prior to a surgery with a view to sedate them before administering anesthesia.

Provided your physician instructs so, lorazepam may possibly also be given to lessen the alcohol withdrawal symptoms, to cure insomnia or sleeping problems as well as to put off vomiting and queasiness caused by chemotherapy.

How to use lorazepam

Lorazepam should normally be taken orally with or without food or as recommended by your physician. The dosage of this medication is dependent on the medical condition of the patient as well as his/ her response to treatment. Provided your physician has instructed so, use lorazepam on a regular basis with a view to obtain the utmost benefit of using this medication. In order to remember taking lorazepam, take this medication around the same time every day. People taking lorazepam ought to be aware that this medication has the potential to cause withdrawal symptoms, particularly if it has been used in high dosage or for a prolonged period - over four weeks at a stretch. In addition, people having a history of drug abuse, alcoholism or personality disorder are also likely to experience withdrawal symptoms when they stop taking this medication.

In the event of abruptly discontinuing this medication, it may result in a number of withdrawal symptoms, including nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, sleeping problems or insomnia, hallucinations, mental / mood changes, stomach aches, loss of appetite, muscle pain, lack of sensation and stinging of the arms and legs, rapid heartbeat, severe fevers, susceptibility to noise/ touch and/ or temporary loss of memory. In order to avoid withdrawal symptoms from occurring, it is possible that your physician will ask you to gradually lower the dosage of the medication before stopping it completely. Contact your physician right away in case you experience any of the withdrawal symptoms mentioned above.

While use of lorazepam offers a number of benefits, it may also rarely result in an anomalous drug-seeking actions or addiction. People who have a history of alcoholism or drug abuse are more at risk of being addicted to lorazepam. Therefore, to lessen the chances of addiction, take this medication strictly as prescribed by your physician. As mentioned earlier, never stop taking this medication abruptly or without talking to your physician. If you stop taking lorazepam suddenly, you may experience a number of your health conditions deteriorating. Your physician may require adjusting the dose of lorazepam from time to time to ensure that you obtain the maximum benefit of using this medication. It is worth mentioning here that people who have been taking this medication for a prolonged period may find that it is not working as it should be. If this medication does not work well or stops working at all, consult your physician immediately. Also tell your physician if your conditions persist or deteriorate further even after taking lorazepam.

How lorazepam works

Lorazepam works by enhancing the actions of a neurotransmitter called gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA), which slows down the release of neurons as well as dulls the communication of nerve signals, thereby diminishing the excitement of the nerves. However, compared to other benzodiazepines, lorazepam has a milder sedative action.

Side effects

  • dizziness
  • drowsiness
  • light-headedness
  • loss of coordination
  • slurred speech
  • unsteady gait
Less common

Possible interactions

Herbal medicines or minerals:
Using herbs like valerian and kava kava while undergoing treatment with lorazepam is likely to aggravate the central nervous system and, hence, it is advisable that you keep away from this combination. In addition, use of other herbs like mate, kola nut, ephedra, Siberian ginseng and hawthorn is also likely to dull the calming effects of lorazepam. Although herbalists recommend using St. John's wort to treat anxiety, it is believed that this herb helps to induce the secretion of P450 enzymes and may have an inclination to dull the efficacy of this medication. Taking St. John's wort together with lorazepam is also likely to deteriorate one's susceptibility to sunlight.
People undergoing treatment with lorazepam should keep away from excessive drinking of beverages that contain caffeine, such as tea, coffee and cola.
People undergoing treatment with lorazepam should restrict their consumption of alcoholic beverages. Alcohol consumption enhances the sluggishness of the mental functioning and also deteriorates the coordination further. In addition, consumption of alcoholic beverages while undergoing treatment with lorazepam generally augments the level of this medication within the body.
Tobacco smoking:
Smoking tobacco in excess is likely to lessen the soothing action of lorazepam. Therefore, it is advisable that you quit smoking if you are taking this medication.
Marijuana smoking:
It is advisable that people taking lorazepam should never smoke marijuana, for it may possibly results in additive drowsiness as well as worsened physical performance.


Lorazepam should not be stopped all of a sudden, especially if you have been taking this medication for more than four weeks. It is essential to always consult your physician before you decide to stop taking this medicine.

Storage instructions

Always store lorazepam in the container it came in. Seal the container tightly and place it somewhere which is beyond the reach of children and pets. This medication needs to be stored at room temperature in a place that is free from too much heat and moisture. Never, keep lorazepam in your bathroom, which is normally damp. Discard all medications that have become outdated or are needed no longer. However, unless you have been instructed otherwise, never dispose of these unwanted medications by flushing them down the toilet or pouring them into a drain. It is advisable that you talk to your physician or any neighbourhood waste disposal company regarding the safe and proper disposal of the medications that are outdated or required no more.


From Ken - Apr-29-2016
I have been using lorazepam 1mg for ten yrs. I take 2 a day for about 4 days, then one a day for 3 days then one every other day for a week that stops my anxiety. Then I don't take them for a few months. Then anxiety creeps up again and I start the process all over again. Doing it this way thy always work well for me no withdrawals no side affects. I have also talked to 2 dr's and 3 pharmacists thy ALL say a little weed with 1mg lorazepam is fine. AMEN FOR LORAZEPAM this drug is a miracle for me. But I have an extremely difficult time finding a dr to give me ongoing prescription for it because of the addictive potential even though I have been using them for ten yrs with no problems.

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